1. There is a two year
time limit on submitting an appeal
2. "You can't appeal
that part of the NCO-ER."
3. Once an appeal has
been processed and denied, it cannot be resubmitted.
4. An NCO-ER cannot
be appealed while you are still in the organization
in which the report was written.
5. Once the report is
submitted nothing can be done.
a. All NCOs need to
be aware that the NCO-ER plays a tremendous part in
the DA centralized promotion and school selection
process. The NCO -ER is probably the single most
important document on the Official Military
Personnel File (OMPF) that is reviewed by selection
boards and it clearly represents the NCO's duty
performance and potential to board members.
b. Attention to
detail in preparing the NCO-ER is a must. Far too
many reports are submitted with incorrect
Height/Weight, APFT, Duty Title, and other
administrative errors. A problem that contributes to
many of these errors is rating officials who do not
complete NCO-ERs before their NCOs depart their
units, installations, etc. and they do not get the
chance to review the report for correctness. Command
emphasis on ensuring that NCO-ERs are completed
prior to the NCO's departure can help reduce many of
c. While we can
reduce many administrative errors, we will probably
not stop them all. NCOs who find that a NCO-ER filed
on their OMPF contains an administrative error can
correct it through the appeals process. AR 623-205
(chapter 4 and appendix F) contains all of the
policies and procedures that need to be followed.
Requests must contain, as a minimum, a memorandum
from the NCO, a copy of the report in question, and
supporting documentation. All documents submitted
that are not on the NCO's OMPF or are not an
original copy, must be certified.
d. NCOs who feel that
a NCO-ER they are receiving is illegal, unjust, or
in violation of regulations, should try to resolve
the matter with the rating chain. If that is not
successful, NCOs may request that a Commander's
Inquiry be conducted. The first commander in the
grade of major or higher, above the allegation in
the rating chain, should conduct the inquiry. This
process could help avoid having to submit an appeal.
AR 623-205, para 2-15, contains details.
e. When a NCO feels
that a NCO-ER filed on his or her OMPF is unfair,
unjust, or contains other substantive errors, he or
she should consider submitting a substantive appeal.
First, the NCO must do an honest appraisal of his or
her conduct and performance during the rating
period. If the NCO-ER really does accurately reflect
the conduct or performance, but the NCO just doesn't
like the rating, it will be hard to appeal. If the
NCO truly believes that the report is incorrect, he
or she should pursue the appeal. In today's Army,
one "bad" report might not result in QMP, but it
could very well slow or stop promotion or school
f. All sections of
the NCO-ER are subject to appeal. There are two
types of appeals - administrative and substantive.
Administrative appeals are processed by EREC and
focus on administrative information shown on the
report. Ninety-seven percent of all administrative
appeals submitted are approved. Appeals alleging
bias, prejudice, inaccuracies, or unjust ratings or
any matter besides administrative errors are
considered substantive appeals. These NCO-ER appeals
are adjudicated by the ODCSPER Enlisted Special
Review Board. During calendar year 1990, ninety-two
percent of these appeals were disapproved.
g. Appealing a report
with substantive errors will not be easy. The NCO
must present the case with documentation that
clearly and convincingly supports the allegations
(third party statements, inspection reports,
investigations, etc.). Third party statements must
not simply be opinion or state that the NCO is a
good soldier. They must address the specific
bullets, box marks, etc. that are being contested.
Individuals writing statements should identify from
what position they were able to observe firsthand,
the interface between the NCO and the rating
officials. Again, AR 623-205 (chapter 4 and appendix
F) contains details on preparation and submission of
h. The timeliness of
any appeal is often critical to its success. There
is no time limit for submission of an NCO-ER appeal.
However, the sooner an appeal is submitted, the
easier it is to document the case. This is just
simply a matter of doing your business when all of
the issues and facts are clearer and more readily
accessible. Trying to obtain documents to support an
appeal for a report is hard enough when the report
is first submitted. NCOs who wait for a year or more
to appeal reports normally find the task to be next
to impossible. The less solid supporting
documentation there is, the bigger the chance that
the appeal will be denied. Substantive appeals for
reports over five years old may only be sent in if
they are accompanied with a reasonable compelling
explanation for the delay in appealing.
i. An appeal may be
resubmitted whenever additional documentation can be
provided. One soldier resubmitted his appeal ten
times. He was eventually successful. Following his
successful appeal, his records appeared before a
series of promotion standby advisory boards. He was
promoted from staff sergeant to master sergeant and
received all back pay and allowances.
7 KEYS TO SUCCESS
percent of the substantive appeals adjudicated
during calendar year 1990 were disapproved, as many
as sixty percent of these appeals might have been
successful if the appellant had focused on the
1. Timeliness: The
sooner the appeal is submitted, the better chance
you have of being successful. Don't wait until you
receive a QMP notice or are nonselected for
promotion or schooling to prepare an appeal. By that
time, the fog of time has set in. The chain of
command has disbursed. The facts and supporting
documents are impossible to get at or have been
destroyed in accordance with existing regulations.
2. Objectivity: Be
objective in your documentation. Most appeals are
lost because the appellant focuses on "a personality
conflict" rather than on the facts of the case.
Forget about the person who wrote the evaluation
report being appealed and focus on what was said -
attack the facts, not the author.
3. Document the
discrepancies: The best way to document
discrepancies between your opinion of your duty
performance and that of your rater or senior rater
is to get an objective third party. These must be
presented in writing. For example, if your rater
said that your poor supply management procedures
resulted in the loss of property, perhaps the
property book officer will give you a statement that
supports your position that losses occurred as a
result of some difficulty or deficiency not
attributable to you or your management skills.
4. Statements: When
you get statements, remember that those from
subordinates and friends do not bear as much weight
or are not as effective as those from your peers or
superiors whom you have had official dealings with
whom were in a position to have observed your duty
performance, style of leadership, or technical
5. Don't be
emotional: Let me repeat that, "DON'T BE EMOTIONAL."
Literally every substantive appeal that is
disapproved has as a common feature, a personality
attack on one of the rating officials. Sorry, but
that tactic is not effective.
6. Perseverance: If
your appeal is not successful on the first attempt,
use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and
request a copy of your case summary. This
information can be valuable in helping to focus your
efforts to better document your case.
7. Patience: It takes
about three to six months for a substantive case to
be completed. Promotion boards and QMP actions are
not suspended waiting on your case to be processed.
Every unit owes its
NCOs meaningful NCO-ER training. Officers, NCOs, and
civilians must all be included.
include the counseling process and communicating
with the NCO (avoid surprises), writing meaningful
duty descriptions, setting tough but realistic
standards, as well as writing fair and accurate
reports. Education on the available redress programs
(commander's inquiries and appeals) should also be
included. Presently, 55% of all appeals are returned
without action because the NCO did not follow the
Individual NCOs must
also ensure that they know the NCO-ER System and its
effects on them. Itâ€™s your career!
The legal assistance
office is available to help answer your questions or
file an appeal.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH INFANTRY DIVISION (MECHANIZED)
HOOD. TEXAS 76544-5200
Commander, U.S. Army Enlisted Records and
Evaluation Center, ATTN: PCRE-RE-A, Fort Benjamin
Harrison, IN 46249-5301
Evaluation Report Appeal for June 199X thru March
199X [Rating period] for Bob Johnson [Name], SGM
[Rank], 789-00-4000 [SSN], 77L [PMOS], (817)
556-5555 [Home phone #], 21 North Street, Killeen,
Texas 76540 [Home mailing address],
1. Under the
provisions of AR 623-205 Chapter 4 [note that appeal
in under Chapter 4], I respectfully appeal the
above-noted NCOER. The basis of this appeal is
administrative error and substantive inaccuracy
[basis of appeal]. The appeals processing priority
of this appeal is third priority per chapter 4-6
[processing priority]. I have enclosed supporting
documents at Tabs A-X [reference supporting
2. [Summary of case].
The NCOER in dispute is for the period of June 194X
thru March 199X. This NCOER is found at TAB A. I
believe that the negative comments in this NCOER
resulted from an Equal Opportunity Sexual Harassment
Complaint I filed against my senior rater.
3. [Facts]. On
certain occasions during February and March of 199X,
she made unwanted sexual advances towards me. As a
result, I filed a complaint with my equal
opportunity representative on March l99X. The
complaint is enclosed as TAB B. The retaliatory
response was swift, and I received ten counseling
statements in a single day (31 March 199X), one of
which was immediately thrown out by my brigade
commander. She even had me removed from the
promotion list, and the battalion adjutant had to
contact the Department of the Army to reinstate me
While the investigation did not produce sufficient
evidence to substantiate my complaint (which was
resolved on 199X), the investigation resulted in
additional equal opportunity training being taught
to the unit.
4. [Analysis]. When I
first saw this NCOER on May 199X, the signature of
my rater had already been signed on it. Although she
had signed the document, there was no date beside
her signature (please see the original copy of the
NCOER at TAB C). In fact, she bad left for First
Sergeant School on April 199X, and did not return
until May 199X. The fact that she signed the NCOER
before leaving for school constitutes a clear
violation of paragraph 2-8 of AR 623-205, which
states that a "[change of rater report may not be
signed before the date the change occurs." It also
suggests that Parts III and IV of the NCOER were
actually completed by my senior rater, against whom
I had filed the equal opportunity complaint, rather
than by my rater. This act violates paragraphs
[Finish your memorandum with a short synopsis]. I
have worked very hard for the Army; my awards and
skills reflect the time and dedication I have given
to the Army for the past 18 years. My performance .
. . .
[Rank], [U.S. Army]
PRIVACY ACT REQUEST
If an appeal is
denied soldiers should always request to see a copy
of their file to make sure that the appeal was sent
forward properly and that no errors were made that
might warrant another review by the appeals board.
Include: Name, Rank, Social Security Number, Date,
What was appealed, Day phone number, Home mailing
address, and a request for the Case Summary. The
address is: Headquarters, Department of the Army,
ATTN: DA PA-ZXI-IC, ODCS PER, 300 Army Pentagon,
Washington, D.C. 20310-0300
The purpose of this document is to provide
information intended to assist the soldier in
preparation of an evaluation report appeal. It
should serve as a ready reference in deciding when
and what to appeal and the steps / procedures
involved in gathering evidence to support an appeal.
Personnel Evaluations, 17 Dec 01, Chapter 6 and
Appendix F outline the appeals process.
What should I Appeal?
If you receive an evaluation report which you firmly
believe is an inaccurate or unjust evaluation of
your performance and potential or one that contains
administrative errors, that report may be a
candidate for an appeal. A report that was not
rendered in accordance with the Army regulations in
effect at the time of preparation may also be
considered for appeal.
If you are just dissatisfied with receiving a report
because you believe it should be better, it's very
difficult to successfully challenge the judgment of
your rating officials. Clear and convincing evidence
is necessary to prove you deserve better. Even if
successful, the relief granted could be to remove
only the portions proven inaccurate or unjust,
rather than raising the evaluation rating.
In deciding what to appeal, you must consider early
on whether you can gather useful evidence in support
of an appeal. Your self-authored statement alone
does not suffice as evidence of an inaccurate,
unjust or administratively flawed evaluation report.
Remember, a report accepted by HQDA is presumed to
be correct both administratively, in content and be
an accurate portrayal of your performance and
potential until you prove it is not.
When should I Appeal?
(The Army Redress
The first step in the Army Redress System is the
Commander's Inquiry. The primary purpose of the
Commander's Inquiry is to provide a greater degree
of command involvement in preventing obvious
injustices to the rated NCO and correcting errors
before they become a matter of permanent record. The
secondary purpose is to obtain command involvement
in clarifying errors or injustices after the NCO- ER
is accepted at EREC. However, in these
after-the-fact cases, this provision is not intended
to be a substitute for the appeals process, which is
the primary means of addressing errors and
injustices after they have become a matter of
permanent record. The inquiry must be completed not
later than 120 days after the through month of the
NCO-ER. Additional information concerning the
Commander's Inquiry is contained in
Chapter 6, section II.
The second step in the Army Redress System is
submission of an NCO-ER appeal. You should begin
preparation of an appeal immediately after receipt
of an evaluation report that you have good reason to
strongly disagree with. Waiting too long adds to the
difficulty of locating those who might offer support
or in gathering records that might serve as
Substantive appeals must be submitted within 5 years
of the NCO-ERs completion date. Failure to submit an
appeal within this time-frame may be excused only if
you provide exceptional justification to warrant
this exception, e.g., extended hospitalization.
Administrative appeals will be considered regardless
of the date of the report utilizing the regulation
in effect during the report period; however, the
likelihood of successfully appealing a report
diminishes, as a rule, with the passage of time.
What are my chances of successfully appealing an
Statistics are not gathered on the
approval/disapproval rate of evaluation report
appeals because each evaluation report is unique.
Your success in appealing a report depends largely
on your ability to present clear and convincing
evidence that the evaluation is inaccurate or
unjust. The best evidence is obtained from third
parties who were in a position to observe your
performance from the same perspective as your rating
officials. The bottom line is that "The success of
your appeal depends mainly on you".
Preparing to Appeal
If you decided to appeal, begin laying the
groundwork by a thorough review of the appropriate
Army regulation in effect at the time the challenged
report was prepared. Using your copy of the
challenged report, you should note any instances
where provisions of the governing regulation were
not followed. You may want to seek guidance from
your unit S-1, local Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) and
Personnel Service Battalion (PSB). They are
available to advise and provide assistance in the
preparation of an appeal.
While minor inconsistencies or irregularities of any
given NCO-ER(s) are noteworthy in an appeal packet,
they do not normally constitute removal of a report.
They do , however, add to the overall consideration
of the merits of an appeal. Serious irregularities,
such as improper rating officials, may, warrant full
or partial relief.
Start by making a list of individual's who served in
positions that would allow them to challenge or
refute specific shortcomings or incidents for which
you were faulted on the challenged report.
Concentrate on identifying those who also have
knowledge of the expectations and demands of your
rating officials and your working relationship with
them. Make a list of any records or reports that
might serve to refute portions of the challenged
evaluation. One example is a published rating
scheme. This report may be used to contest
correctness of the evaluation officials. Extracts
from inspections or investigative reports are
sometimes useful to challenge faulty remarks or
Having made a list of individual's who might
support your appeal, the next step is locating them.
Check the World Wide Locator for those still on
active duty. For those known to have retired or
otherwise left active duty, send a request to HQDA,
ATTN: DACF-FSR, 2461 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, VA
22331-0521 (for retirees) or to the National
Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Blvd., St.
Louis, MO 63132-5260 (for other than retirees). The
individual's full name and SSN must be provided
along with the correspondence you want forwarded. To
protect the privacy of individual's no longer on
active duty, these agencies will normally forward
correspondence to the individual's rather than
providing an address. When requesting an address or
assistance, always indicate that your request is for
official use in support of an evaluation report
Prepare the letter you intend to send while waiting
for the addresses. Examples for both your letter of
request and the individual's letter of support are
located in AR 623-205,
Figures 6-5 and 6-6. You may want to provide your
prospective supporter a copy of the response example
or direct them to the example in the regulation.
Remember the requested supporting letter should
offer first hand observation or knowledge that might
refute any or all of those portions of the report(s)
being challenged. Third party statements that merely
say you were a good soldier, without addressing or
refuting the shortcomings for which you were
faulted, provide little in the way of convincing
support for your appeal.
For records and reports that might be of assistance
to you, write or contact the S1 or adjutant of your
previous unit and request copies of documents
applicable to the specific aspects of your appeal of
job performance. Timeliness is essential when
requesting these documents as most records are
destroyed within 2 years.
While waiting for responses to your request, prepare
your basic memorandum of appeal. Follow the format
Figures 6-2, 6-3 and 6-4 for the appropriate type of
request. These examples cover administrative,
substantive and administrative-substantive combined
appeals. In order to keep the appeal as confidential
as possible, we recommend using your home address
for a return address.
Identify the specific portion(s) of the report which
you contest and clearly state your disagreement. Be
clear, brief and specific. Limit your explanation to
basic facts. If detailed information is essential,
add your own statement as an enclosure to the
appeal. Your self authored statement is your only
opportunity to talk to the board since the board
will not be contacting you, seek assistance from
your S-1, PSB or local SJA.
Type of Evidence
Evidence submitted includes statements from third
parties, rating officials and often includes
documents from other sources, i.e., investigations,
inspections, etc. There are no limits on type and
amount of evidence submitted see paragraph 6-10,
AR 623-205 for
guidance as to what will or will not be especially
helpful. Vantage points and first hand knowledge are
important factors in selecting third parties to
support an appeal. Remember, the specific changes
you request should be justified by the evidence
Upon receipt of supporting statements and evidence
have the entire package reviewed by a disinterested
third party that you trust and have confidence in.
This third party review will help remove emotion and
poor logic from your appeal. Your appeal should not
be submitted until you are satisfied that you have
presented a logical, well- constructed case.
Submit the finalized appeal, plus one complete copy
directly to the address listed in this pamphlet.
Verify all necessary information has been included
before forwarding the appeal. All supporting
statements must be originals and all documents
provided must be original or certified true copies.
Certification of documents may be done by your local
SJA or PSB. The copy of the evaluation report does
not have to be certified if it is already a matter
of record on your OMPF (microfiche). If you are
aware of the current phone numbers of the rating
officials on the contested report, please include
them in your appeal.
Processing and Disposition of Appeals
The Appeals and Corrections Branch of the Active,
Reserve or National Guard component will review the
case upon receipt and either notify you by letter
that the appeal has been accepted or that the case
is being returned for lack of usable evidence.
Administrative appeals will be resolved by the
appropriate Appeals and Corrections Branch.
Substantive appeals will be forwarded for final
review and decision by the Enlisted Special Review
Board (ESRB). Upon final determination of the case,
the appropriate agency will notify you of the
The time necessary to process an appeal varies with
the type and complexity of the case. Some priority 3
cases may take six months or longer while priority 2
and 1 cases take less time. Processing priorities
are explained in the Chapter 6,
AR 623-205. The
fact that you are scheduled to be considered by a DA
Promotion Board will not cause your appeal to be
expedited or change your priority. You may check on
the current status of your appeal by viewing the
Personnel Data Snapshot (IWRS) page.
In order to ensure full and just consideration of an
evaluation report appeal, the primary members of the
rating chain are normally contacted by the ESRB for
their comments. After approving an appeal where the
individual was previously non-selected by a DA
Selection Board for promotion, the ESRB will also
take into consideration whether promotion
reconsideration is warranted. The appellant will be
informed of this decision when notified of the ESRB
In all cases, whether the appeal is approved or
denied, totally or in part, documentation is placed
on the OMPF. The performance portion of the OMPF
("P" fiche) is amended to include either (1) a
memorandum for record which documents the amendment
or explains non-rated time or (2) the HQDA letter
which notifies you the appeal was denied. When the
appeal is denied, either totally or in part, a
complete copy of the appeal correspondence is placed
on the "R" fiche.
If the appeal is denied, you may gather new or
additional evidence and submit another appeal or
request relief from the next agency in the Army's
redress system, the Army Board for Correction of
Military Records (ABCMR). Operation of the ABCMR is
governed by AR 15-185. If your case was decided by
the ESRB, a case summary of the Board's
consideration is available by writing to:
Freedom of Information Act
300 Army, Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 203010-0300
DSN: 225-2116 COML: (703) 695-0273
Summary Checklist for the Appellant A detailed
checklist, for use when assembling your appeal, is
located in AR 623-205,
Chapter 6 and Appendix F.
memorandum on letterhead or white bond paper. First
paragraph must contain your name, rank, PMOS, SSN,
period of report and priority of the appeal. Include
a DSN or commercial phone number and correct mailing
address (home address may be used). Use this
memorandum to transmit the appeal. Concisely explain
the nature of your disagreement and what corrective
action is requested. If a detailed explanation of
the circumstances of a report is required, add a
statement as an enclosure to the appeal. It is
important to remember that the ESRB will not contact
you, but will more than likely contact the rating
officials. Therefore, it is important that you
provide as much information as possible in your own
statement. List and identify all enclosures and
their relevance to your case. Sign and date the
Evidence: Appeals based on
administrative error must be proven by original or
certified true copies of appropriate documents, e.g.
orders, leave and earning statements, appropriate
medical documents verifying height/weight, APFT
results (DA Form 705), DA Form 2-1/ERB.
Claims of inaccurate or unjust evaluations must be
supported by originals of typed statements from
knowledgeable observers during the report period.
These statements must reference the specific
allegations/contentions of your appeal. The
statements must also be signed, dated, printed on
letterhead or white bond paper and should be
specific in content. Additional statements from
rating officials are acceptable, but will not be the
sole basis of the appeal. Documents such as ARTEP,
AGI, CI results, etc., may be useful in supporting
Copies: Original and one copy.
Original packet must include originals of all
statements and certified true copies of all other
documents with the exception of the NCOER.
Mailing: Before mailing,
review to ensure all enclosures are included,
signatures and dates are on all documents and
addresses and phone numbers are included. Enclose
your appeal in a secure container, mailing envelope
or heavy wrapping as needed. Refrain from using
fancy binders or covers. Mail to the appropriate
Follow Up: You will be
notified in writing by the NCO-ER Appeals Branch
that your appeal was received. It is your
responsibility to notify HQDA promptly if your
address changes. You will be notified, in writing,
of the decision. Upon final decision, if not totally
approved, you have further recourse. You may request
a copy of the Enlisted Special Review Board (ESRB)
Case Summary as mentioned earlier, then submit a
second appeal strengthened by additional evidence.
As an alternative to reconsideration by the ESRB,
appellants may apply to the Army Board for
Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) IAW AR
Mailing Addressees / POCs
Enlisted Records and Evaluation Center
8899 E. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46249-5301
ATTN: ARPC-PR (Appeals Office)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5200
National Guard Bureau
ARNG Readiness Center
111 S. George Mason Dr.
Arlington, VA 2204-1382
COML: (703) 607-9501/9502/9504